Figuring out how to find time to spend with your kids can seem impossible at best. There are so many daily tasks demanding our attention. From the laundry to the cleaning to the cooking to the organizing….it’s exhausting thinking about it all.
You want so badly to spend quality time with your kids, but you feel guilty and overwhelmed when you drop household tasks to be with your kids. The laundry starts piling up and the house quickly looks like a tornado went through it. Believe me, I’ve been there!
If you do choose household tasks over spending time with your kids, then you feel guilty for that. It seems like either way, you can’t win.
So, how do you find the time to spend with your kids? Well, I don’t have all the answers and am still trying to determine it myself, but here is what works for me.
1) Schedule It
Just like you would a date or an appointment. Write it on your calendar and then commit to it. Don’t let anything but an absolute emergency interfere with time you have scheduled to be with your kids.
How much time you schedule is up to you. Even a small amount of time is better than no time. Just make sure it is quality time, though. By that I mean that both you and your child’s relationship becomes stronger from being together.
What you do together is also up to you and will depend on how much time you have and the interests of your child. It can be as simple as sitting down and having a chat. Or, it can be something more involved such as spending a whole day together at an amusement park.
2) Make it Non-Negotiable
Make spending time with your kids something that is not an option. If you have scheduled time, make sure that it cannot be traded for any other pressing demand.
Something that is non-negotiable is top priority. Interacting and playing with your kids is definitely something that should be high on your priority list.
If it is a priority, then you will find time to make it happen.
3) Utilize the Help of Your Kids
Young kids love to help. Why not take them up on their offer and utilize them to help you get your household tasks accomplished?
My two year old loves to go around with a rag and wipe the counters. My four year old jumps at any chance to mop and vacuum.
They may not always be as enthusiastic to help out, but I am going to take advantage of it while I can.
If they clean or cook along side of you, they are learning valuable skills while also spending time with you.
Let them set the table before dinner and help clean up afterward. You will also be instilling a strong work ethic in them and that will benefit them their whole life.
4) Make It Part of Your Daily Routine
Every evening before bed, I read my kids at least two books. It is part of their bedtime routine and therefore happens every night.
Reading to your kids is a great way to spend quality time with them. Kids love to listen to books and it is a wonderful way to instill a love of literacy and learning in your children.
We almost always eat dinner together as a family each evening. Our meal time is free from any distractions such as TV and phones. It is a time for us to all be together and talk to each other.
I read somewhere that if you want your child to thrive at 21, you need to eat dinner together when he is young.
Everyone needs to eat each evening and putting forth the effort to make sure it is a family affair helps your whole family to bond.
It’s also a great way to spend time with your kids.
5) Be Spontaneous
The times when I drop whatever I am doing at the moment to go spend time with my kids have meant the most to me. These spontaneous “drop it and go” moments usually happen out of the blue.
Like the time my son came carrying the game of Candy Land into the living room asking me to play with him. I can’t remember what task I had to drop in order to go race my gingerbread man to the candy castle, but I definitely remember the time spent with him. That tells me all I need to know about the value of playing with my child!
Or the time my daughter brought me a book to read. I gladly dropped whatever I was doing to go read to her. Who can deny a sweet one year old the chance to listen to a story?
The other day, my husband dropped his chores so he could go play with our kids on the play area in our yard. I could see he was having lots of fun even though he had to sacrifice his work for the moment.
Think of other ways you can spend time with your kids on the spur of the moment.
The next time you are out and about, do something unplanned like playing at the park or getting some ice cream.
Take a last minute weekend trip with the family, go on a picnic or spend an evening playing board games.
Take advantage of any spontaneous activity or moment that comes along! Just drop it and go! What better way to find time to spend with your kids?
I guarantee you won’t remember what you had to put on the back burner so that you could have last minute fun, but you will forever remember your time spent together.
6) Give Yourself Permission
If you are like me, Every day you are reminded how quickly your kids are growing up and you just want to cherish every moment you have with them. In order to find time, you have to make time and in order to make time something else will have to wait.
That is very difficult to do because you feel guilty when you aren’t accomplishing everything on your to do list.
It’s ok… really. Give yourself permission to spend time with your kids. Cut yourself some slack if you don’t get everything done today.
Still not convinced to permit yourself to let some things slide in order to spend time with your kids? Maybe this poem will help!
What Did I Do Today
Today I left some dishes dirty,
the bed got made around 3:30.
The diapers soaked a little longer,
The odor grew a little stronger.
The crumbs I spilled the day before
Are staring at me from the floor.
the fingerprints there on the wall
Will likely be there still next fall.
The dirty streaks on those window panes
Will still be there next time it rains.
Shame on you, you sit and say,
Just what did you do today?
I held a baby till she slept
I held a toddler while he wept.
I played a game of hide and seek,
I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Taught a child right from wrong.
What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess that’s true.
Unless you think that what I’ve done,
might be important to someone
with deep green eyes and soft brown hair,
If that is true….I’ve done my share.
~ Author Unknown ~
Spend Time with Your Kids Today!
Every second counts! Make it a goal to spend at least 15 minutes with your kids today. Then increase the amount of time each day.
Remember these tips to help you find time to spend with your kids:
- Schedule It
- Make it Non-Negotiable
- Utilize the Help of Your Kids
- Make It a Part of Your Daily Routine
- Be Spontaneous
- Give Yourself Permission
What did you do with your kids today? Any other tips for finding time to spend time with your kids? I would love it if you would leave a comment and let me know.
Any time spent making memories and building relationships with your kids is not wasted. Make the most of every moment you have with them while they are little!